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Make every effort to expand access to lifesaving hepatitis C treatment

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In response to the article “Hepatitis C drug costs leave many without care” (Page A1, April 10) and the editorial “Don’t deny a cure for hepatitis C patients” (Apr 14): Almost a quarter of the patients we care for at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program are living with hepatitis C, a disease that contributes greatly to health care utilization and cost. We’ve worked hard to increase access to the lifesaving treatments the Globe reported on this month, and our early outcomes have been overwhelmingly successful.

Over the past two years, 96 of the 100 people who have completed the treatment have been cured of the disease. Experiences like ours suggest that broadly implemented treatment is achievable and could have a major impact on the size and severity of this epidemic.

Decisions about whether to cover hepatitis C virus treatment should reflect the expert guidance by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the recommendations of the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which have called for a commitment to access across all payers. We applaud the advocates working to ameliorate unequal access and hope to see coverage expanded as soon as possible.


Maggie Beiser

Director, hepatitis C services

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

The writer is a nurse practitioner.